Thursday, September 08, 2011
Today’s Topic: It’s Permanent
Today’s Text: Isaiah 51:4-6 “Listen to me, my people; hear me, my nation: The law will go out from me; my justice will become a light to the nations. My righteousness draws near speedily, my salvation is on the way, and my arm will bring justice to the nations. The islands will look to me and wait in hope for my arm. Lift up your eyes to the heavens, look at the earth beneath; the heavens will vanish like smoke, the earth will wear out like a garment and its inhabitants die like flies. But my salvation will last forever, my righteousness will never fail.
There is a conflict between man’s knowledge of earthly things and his desire to know God. We are smart people, but we are spiritually dumb. The insensitive nature of man’s heart towards spiritual things was revealed in a statement made by Jesus. He said, “You know how to interpret the appearance of the sky, but you cannot interpret the signs of the times.” (Matthew 16:3)
I have spent a lot of time in the last few days doing nothing because of a serious sinus infection. I have observed the recent course of human events through the eyes of a television camera which projected to me a not-so-rounded world view on a flat screen. Life is pretty obnoxious when seen only from that perspective. I saw television shows filled with sex. I watched portions of movies that depict a godless life as life’s greatest opportunity. The newscasts were filled with natural disasters, political turmoil, financial crisis, and the evil of man’s heart. In fact, just this morning, these are the headlines:
- Officials Say Roadside Bombs Kill Eight Around Afghanistan
- Militant Group Claims Attacks in Western China
- ‘Heartbroken’ Nevada mourns IHOP victims
- Hurricane Katia churns north; new storms brewing
- Remnants of Lee bring fresh flood worries to East
- Russia mourns hockey team killed in jet crash
- Sky-high salaries, costly hips boost US health costs
Pretty gloomy, isn’t it? There’s not much hope out there right now – just ask the average person. And the gloomier it gets, the more our hearts fall into the bondage of blindness, and we keep looking to the same old places for the same old solutions. We get worried and scared, when we should be getting up and looking up.
Again, Jesus said, “There will be signs in the sun, moon and stars. On the earth, nations will be in anguish and perplexity at the roaring and tossing of the sea. Men will faint from terror, apprehensive of what is coming on the world, for the heavenly bodies will be shaken. At that time they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. When these things begin to take place, stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.” (Luke 21:25-28)
That’s exactly what the prophet Isaiah said to the nation of Israel in today’s Scripture reading. Look up. Look around. When you see the signs of destruction, then shout for joy, for God’s salvation is on the way. God’s justice is coming. Our hope is in Him. And when the destruction starts, we have nothing to fear, for our salvation will last forever, and the Lord’s righteousness will never fail.
How I praise God more than ever that my salvation is permanent; my eternity is secure; my faith is in the One who cannot fail, and who is coming soon to redeem us from this lost and dying world. And until He returns, I will do everything I can to make sure those around me don’t get left behind.